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Horses for Courses: Fortinet Championship

4 Min Read

Horses For Courses

    Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott

    All-time best drives at TPC Southwind

    Welcome back!

    Hope you had time to enjoy the off-season before what shapes as a huge final wraparound season on the PGA TOUR. Check out the big changes coming to the TOUR this season and beyond here.

    We kick off at the Fortinet Championship on the North Course of Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California and as usual the first event will welcome plenty of new faces in a full field of 156 participants (31 who have yet to play Silverado). This event annually incorporates the recent graduates from the Korn Ferry Tour while providing an opportunity for the rank and file to get early head start on accumulating FedExCup points.

    The Par-72 only plays 7,123 yards so everyone will have a chance to swing it and rack up birdie chances and feel good about the start of the new season. The contenders will need to go low as 19-under is the average winning score over the last three editions, including the tournament record setting performance of Stewart Cink (-21) in 2020.

    For more on the field and course read Rob Bolton's Power Rankings and Adam Stanley's The First Look.

    Horses for Courses Fast Five

    - Players listed only if they are in the field; Winner of the event since 2015.

    Brendan Steele (Win: +4000; Top 5: +750; Top 10: +350; Top 20: +170)

    The Irvine, California, native is the only multiple winner and did so in dramatic fashion as he defended his title. With the 2016-17 and 2017-18 season wins he is No. 1 on the all-time money list at Silverado and hasn't missed a cut in eight consecutive years. Since his last victory his best payday is just T29. Of his last 32 rounds, 29 are par or better but his only two top 10 paydays are wins.

    Max Homa (Win: +1400; Top 5: +333; Top 10: +150; Top 20: -145)

    Another California native, Homa has plenty of experience in this part of the world as he attended Cal-Berkeley for his college years. That experience paid off last year as he finally cracked the code in his fifth start. Cashing in three of his previous four attempts he took home the big check last season as he closed 65-65 to come from two off the 54-hole lead. T39 on debut in 2015 was his next best result.

    Hideki Matsuyama (Win: +1400; Top 5: +333; Top 10: +150; Top 20: -145)

    For a non-winner he sticks out as he's procured a pair of top 10 paydays (T6, T3) and T17 from just four visits. He's 35-under from those three events and his MC was 72-72 (E). His T6 last year included closing with 66, his best from 14 tries. One of a few with multiple top 10 paydays in the field this week.

    Cameron Champ (Win: +6600; Top 5: +1200; Top 10: +550; Top 20: +250)

    Sacramento native won in his third visit after signing for T25 in 2018. Bombing the place into submission he led comfortably by three after 54 holes before winning by a shot. His defense didn't come until last year (MC) as he didn't play in the 2020 edition.

    Stewart Cink (Win: +10000; Top 5: +1800; Top 10: +800; Top 20: +350)

    No, the Fountain of Youth is not bubbling in the Spa at Silverado but you wouldn't know from Cink's performance in 2020. Making only his second start at the event (MC, 2017) the 47-year-old turned the weekend into his playground as he closed 65-65 and set the tournament scoring record. With a field slight in depth, experience and results here it's easy to look towards the previous champions.

    Odds sourced on Tuesday, September 13th. For live odds visit betmgm.

    Pipped at the Post

    Patrick Rodgers: Stanford grad has cashed five straight including tying his career best with T6 last year. Ninth straight appearance at Silverado and also has T6 from 2016 on his ledger. Streak is currently at 16 consecutive rounds at par or better.

    Chez Reavie: Never missed in eight tries and his last seven are all T33 or better. Solo third in 2020 saw him close 66-66 and post 18-under. Opened with 65 to lead last year before a 75 in the second round slowed him to T28. Enjoys tight driving conditions and Poa annua greens over the years. Won the Barracuda earlier this year at Lake Tahoe.

    Maverick McNealy: Grew up in San Francisco and attended Stanford. Played from the final group last year but his 68 wasn't enough to hold off Homa. A second round 64 was his best here by four shots. Solo second is his only payday inside T52 but he has cashed in four of five visits.

    Kevin Streelman: T3 on his last visit (2020) highlights three T25 or better in his last four. Played the final 54 holes 18-under (66-65-67) for his best result in seven tries. Previous best round was 68.

    Harry Higgs: T23 on debut in 2019 was backed up with solo second in 2020. Highlights of his week included a round two 62, which missed tying the course record by a shot. Also co-led the field in Total Putts with 106. Missed the cut last year (-1) but is 28-under aggregate over 10 rounds, all par or better.

    Nick Taylor: Canadian who played in the Pac-12 at Washington has cashed in his last four appearances. Highlights include T9 in 2017 and T10 in 2019.

    Cam Percy: Never missed in his four visits staggered over seven years. Opened with 64 en route to T23 in 2021 after taking home T7 money the previous season.

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